I Have A Crush On Dick Cavett

I have a crush on Dick Cavett. I was smitten the first time I saw him on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. His voice! His accent — I really like his accent. His vocabulary! The words he uses and the way he uses them are beautiful and interesting — even when I don’t know what they mean.

More than any other writer, even Thomas Wolfe, Dick Cavett sends me to my Webster’s to look up words that don’t have a hint of ostentation because they fit so comfortably into his clear and rhythmic language.  In his book, Talk Show, he wonders if absorption with magic might, “have spared the world [Dick Cheney’s] predations.” I looked it up. It means the act of pillaging and victimizing for gain; act of a predator.

I used to think it was going to Yale that made him so smart (I called him an intellectual until I read what he said about people who call him an intellectual – that they don’t know the meaning of the word).  But lots of people went to Yale, and they came out economists or commercial lawyers. Only he came out Dick Cavett.

On The Tonight Show, then on The Dick Cavett Show, I watched him interview some of the most famous people of the 20th century. What set him apart from other interviewers for me, and apparently for the celebrities as well, was his kind of respectful irreverence. He was adorable. I’ll bet Ethel Barrymore (theater legend and Drew’s great aunt) had a crush on him too when he introduced her saying, “My next guest is no bowl of chopped liver, but a real high class broad.” I can’t imagine anyone else doing that. (I heard this in the 70’s so forgive me if I got the person or quote wrong.)

Then suddenly The Dick Cavett Show was gone. I kept waiting for him to reappear in a new show, but he didn’t. Then, last year, thanks to the magic of Google, I found him. The web had his quotes, his bio, even videos of his interviews. I was elated.

I discovered he had written a new book, Talk  Show. I ran to the book store to buy it. Allowing myself a few pages a day, I made it last from December through spring. Then I made an even more exciting discovery – one that will keep us together. Dick Cavett has a blog in the New York Times (see my blog roll)! Now I’m following him.

I don’t wish to offend Mr. Cavett, or frighten him. He doesn’t need to get a restraining order. I’m not a stalker and I’ve never followed him or anything. I don’t even know where he lives. And if I did, I’d stay a discrete distance away – most of the time.

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